Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reading and Stuff

Carli Jean /

I am taking these days between Christmas and New Year's to crack open my new books and disappear between their inviting covers for a while.
Christmas was wonderful, and in the middle of family celebrations, I also had the very pleasant opportunity to meet a blogging friend in person for the very first time. Of which I will write about more later ... I have something beautiful to share with you that she created for me.

For it being the middle of winter, there is no sign of snow. It's been well above freezing all week which means it's been very nice for driving and getting around in, but one doesn't feel quite the same push for hot cocoa when the nip of frost isn't biting noses. Yet, sipping Scottish breakfast tea (which someone received in her Christmas stocking) while nibbling a generous slice of rich and fragrant fruit cake seems a match made in heaven! Especially when there's a pile of books to savour as well.

Okay, okay... I hear you wondering about my new books ... here is a quick peek, nothing fancy:

1. The Writing Diet, Write Yourself Right-Size by Julia Cameron.  I had this self-help book in the back of my mind ever since Lin mentioned she was reading it and enjoying it way back when.
"Over the course of the past twenty-five years, Julia Cameron has taught thousands of artists and aspiring artists how to unblock wellsprings of creativity. And time and again she has noticed an interesting thing: Often, in uncovering their creative selves her students also undergo a surprising physical transformation-invigorated by their work, they slim down. In The Writing Diet, Cameron illuminates the relationship between creativity and eating to reveal a crucial equation: creativity can block overeating."  excerpt from

2. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. Originally published in 1963, this novel has been re-released by Hendrickson Publishers just this year!  I was first introduced to Elizabeth Goudge by another Brenda, a beautiful blogger who shares with her readers her own love of books.
“Jean was visited by one of her rare moments of happiness, one of those moments when the goodness of God was so real to her that it was like taste and scent; the rough strong taste of honey in the comb and the scent of water. Her thoughts of God had a homeliness that at times seemed shocking, in spite of their power, which could rescue her from terror or evil with an ease that astonished her.”

3. Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber, a fellow Canadian who once moved to Oxford in England to study.  Now that makes me think of C.S. Lewis and Narnia and such...
"Surprised by Oxford is the memoir of a skeptical agnostic on a surprising journey toward a dynamic personal faith in God. When Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford for her graduate studies in Romantic literature, she felt no need for God. Her childhood in a broken but loving family taught her to rely on reason and intellect—not faith—for survival. What she didn’t know was that she was about to embark on a love story of her own—one much deeper, more colorful, and more surprisingly God-shaped than any she’d read before." excerpt of book synopsis

4. One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman. It's a beautiful memoir about 'a stroke, a marriage, and the language of healing'.  I read the library's copy a couple of months ago and knew I wanted to read it again as she shared so many interesting things about how the brain works and how she and her husband are 'recovering' from his stroke... all in such a beautiful way.

5.  Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by Greta and Janet Podleski. These delightful ladies have created a fabulous and humour-filled cookbook which hubby and I are hoping to cook our way through. So far we've sampled the broiled salmon with a cream dill sauce and tonight we're trying the grilled pork tenderloin with a tangy apple jelly and Dijon mustard sauce. Yum!


On that note, I'm wishing you a pleasant day. Don't forget to watch and listen for glimpses of heaven in unexpected places ... they sometimes come with songs for the heart!



  1. Hi Brenda, all of your new books sound wonderful. I would especially like to look into the Diane Ackerman book, I enjoyed her essays years ago when she wrote for Victoria. Isn't it wonderful to settle down with a good book on a cold day! It was sure cold here last night but today the sun is out and the air is brisk and bracing. I have been resting up from a recent injury to my back and have been rereading some of my favorite Fanny Flagg books. Have you ever read Standing in the Rainbow? I don't know what it is about that book but every time I read it, I feel hopeful and happy. Have a great time cocooned with your new books! Delisa :)

  2. Wonderful books! I have been reading the "Journals of Martha Ballard." She was a Maine midwife in the 18th century and kept a very detailed (for a woman of that period) journal of her work and life. It is interesting to see how much she accomplished every day and still had time to write, create, and deliver babies!

    Enjoy your reading time!

  3. Your books sound fascinating, Brenda. I recently ran across a Diane Ackerman quote in my 'about writing' files (of which I have many and don't review often enough). Her book sounds fascinating... Oh for more hours in the day to do all one wants to do, and unlimited reading too!

    Wishing you a bountiful, beautiful new year!

  4. Howdy Miss Brenda, happy to hear you had a nice Christmas.. No time for reading with me,, got the Grands this week.. Happy New Year.. Susie

  5. Brenda,

    So glad you had a nice Christmas. Really enjoyed your book list as a fellow "swallowed up" by books kind of gal. Happy reading and cooking!

  6. I can hear the pages turning all the way down here!

    Happy New Year, my dear friend.

    "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."

    ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce~

  7. fun books, I'm ready to reread Julia Cameron's book again-great ideas.

  8. Oh those all sound good. I will await further review, though I do know that that other Brenda can be trusted to know what reads well. I so enjoyed reading through the Goudge books. Enjoy your reading time...

  9. books! "Surprised By Oxford" sounds very interesting. I can get it from so might order it.

    Oh, and your blog friends page looks great!

    Happy reading and a Happy New Year too!

  10. I hope that you're enjoying your days and evenings with your new friends!!

  11. Merry Greetings, Brenda!

    Just popped in to say, "Hi!" and to wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    Enjoy your wonderful company. A cuppa sounds really good, too :-) I look forward to reading your words in 2012, m'dear...

    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  12. I just love this sentence: "am taking these days between Christmas and New Year's to crack open my new books and disappear between their inviting covers for a while." That's just how I feel, as I got a lovely stack of books for Christmas. (And, yes, I too also bought one for myself :). Enjoy your escape!

  13. Your books all sound so interesting. I too think the Oxford one would be great to read.

    I bought myself a scarf, some perfume, and a Christmas CD (It replaced one that got destroyed.) I can't say these just popped out at me. Except for the CD, I planned them. Have a wonderful New Year. I will be looking for those places of Heaven.

  14. So nice to be able to disappear between the covers of a good book! I have fond memories of going to the Library and returning home with a stack of books, because you can't just take out one! I really need to allow for more disappear time in 2012!

  15. With so many little grandchildren to help take care of at this time of my life, I find myself longing for days to read. I am so happy for you and I thank you for sharing your list with us. I will keep those titles in the back of my mind.

  16. I've added a couple of these books to my own wish list. I enjoyed Diane Ackerman's essays when she was the writer in residence for Victoria magazine many years ago.

    Just now I'm indulging in rereading Dorothy Sayers mysteries featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.

    Enjoy this cozy time to read.

  17. Hi Brenda, your books all sound intriguing. The Scent of Water I know and love; the Oxford one I think I'd especially like to read. Do let us know your impressions as you finish them.

    All the best to you and yours for the New Year. I look forward to twelve months of wonderful visits here and elsewhere in blog land.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....